I don’t have much to write about but I feel like I should. Over the course of the last few days a few things sprang to mind but they were never really long enough to constitute a post. I did the reasonable thing and forget about them. Then I thought, maybe I could just put a bunch of different things in one post. It was a great idea. Except I had forgotten most of the things I had been thinking about.
People who have added me as a friend on Facebook are probably sick to death about this, but it’s something I feel strongly about. Probably too strongly. You see, when I was a kid tying shoelaces was a pretty simple affair. You make your loops, pull the loops tight, and you’re all set. But I’ve noticed some pretty weird things about shoelaces lately.
For starters, shoelaces that come with sneakers, regular ones, not high tops, are about 20 feet long. You could double lace your running shoes and still have enough lace left over to hang that horse stealin’ varmint. Probably too much. He’d hit the ground and run away. And yet, dress shoes have about two inches. You’re lucky if you can touch the tips of the laces together much less tie them.
But the worst thing is that they don’t stay tied. It’s like they’re waxed or greased. On my current pair of boots half my time was spent tying one shoe or the other. I would tie one, and the other would come untied. I would tie them at the top of the stairs and they’d be untied at the bottom of the stairs. I’d tie the left one before I got in the car and by the time I drove to the store the left shoe, the one that does nothing but sit there, would be untied. I was seriously on the verge of losing my mind, claiming a conspiracy by the shoelace manufacturers was to blame.
I finally broke down and bought a pair of Lock Laces. They saved my sanity, really. Now I point and laugh at people with untied laces.
Smokers. Evil, vile people. They get to take five minute breaks every hour, they smog the place up, they cause pollution, they kill children, they turn drapes yellow. If you’re a smoker then you know this to be true: you can stand in the middle of a field, in the middle of nowhere, light a cigarette, and two minutes later someone will walk past you (very closely) and start coughing and hacking. Then they’ll make a stupid comment.
I know this because I’m a smoker (yes, I know, bad for you, killing babies, etc) and I’ve had it happen to me. The funny thing is,the other day some people came knocking on our office door. It was our neighbors across the hall. It seems they were having a birthday party for someone and they had a cake. With candles. Candles they couldn’t light. But they knew our office had at least one smoker and they were, uh, wondering if, ah, you know… they could borrow my lighter. The moral of the story? You don’t have to smoke, just carry a damn lighter. You never know when one will come in handy.
I had a whole big article planned. It was about me justifying myself for not writing professionally by blaming it on being sane. I did research on different well known authors, all of whom had some kind of problem. Drug use, psychosis, alcoholism, and suicidal tendencies (awesome band). And it got pretty depressing. Of course, I had carefully hand picked these authors but it was to prove a point. That point being that I’m not crazy enough to be an author. But it got kind of depressing.
Then I thought I would blame it on being a "goody two shoes." Because I kind of am. I’ve never lived in the dark underground of society. I’ve never got caught up in the drug culture or sex culture or gun culture. Or any kind of culture. I get up, I go to work, I come home, I go to bed. If I were any more boring… Okay, so I can’t really get any more boring. That’s kind of depressing in itself. Hell, I’ve only ever gotten a ticket for not having car insurance. And I didn’t even hassle the cop! Who was very polite and helpful, by the way.
I’m not even edgy. You notice that I used two cuss words so far? Damn and hell? I’m forcing myself to write those because I feel this blog should be family friendly. Family friendly! Nobody reads these! Okay, the occasional person looking for a Saturnalia card or reading my review of "Pet Society." My mom probably still reads them. And any other poor soul I can convince to read it. And, let’s be fair, they probably only read it once and forget about it. Just like I would.
A real writer would have a scotch and soda on his desk, an ashtray with a lit cigarette burning itself out. I have the ashtray, but I’m drinking tea. Tea! So what else can I blame failed writing on? My keyboard. It’s a membrane keyboard. It doesn’t make noise. So I started to look for mechanical keyboards. The kind that came with those ancient IBM computers and went CLACK! CLACK! CLACK! CLACK! when you typed on them. The kind that would drive your roommate to the brink of insanity and beat you with it because you were MUD’ing too loudly at 2am. My preferred typing font is Courier (or New Courier) or Times New Roman. I feel like I need a mechanical keyboard so I can feel like I’m typing on a typewriter.
And yet… have any of you noticed? Have you noticed that I blame my lack of fame on my lack of insanity? Yet, there in the section on shoelaces I specifically say that Lock Laces saved my sanity. Wouldn’t that be the answer? Go back to using regular shoe laces that come untied every ten seconds, lose my mind, and write the great American novel. Can you imagine the obituary on that?
"Today we mourn the passing of W. Austin Las, author of the great Amercian novel, Not The Garden of Eden. Mr. Las struggled horribly with life long writers block until the age of fourty-two when his mind became completely unhinged from tying his shoes too often."
That could put me right up there with Agatha Christie faking her own death.